Three hundred musicians and singers from around the globe contribute to student Harrison Sheckler’s virtual production of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the musical Carousel, while Brooklyn College Professor Jeffrey Biegel brings classical greats online with his “Stay-at-Home” concerts.

This article was updated May 1, 2020

A Brooklyn College student and accomplished pianist has brought together a mix of 300 musicians from 15 different countries for a virtual video performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic, “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” from the musical Carousel released today on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Harrison Sheckler has been collecting the digital contributions from a small army for more than a month and recently had the project professionally produced by Josh Meyer and Grant Bayer of Zated Records in Ohio, who Sheckler met while earning his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance in 2019 at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Now a student of renowned pianist/composer and Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music professor Jeffrey Biegel, Harrison is working toward his master’s degree in piano performance, while spending well over 200 hours promoting, organizing submissions, and video editing the project.

Soliciting help online for the project through a network of musical connections, Sheckler received tracks from countries all over the world, including the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Vietnam, Israel, Australia, South Africa, and others. The audio engineers at Zated Records also spent 30 hours mixing and mastering the 300 tracks. Sheckler completed his project from his parents’ home in Iowa, where he returned in March, while engaging in distance learning with Brooklyn College classes.

“The Brooklyn College Choir had been preparing for performances with the New York Philharmonic, and then that was gone. Arriving home in Iowa, I found comfort in playing this beautiful song from the musical Carousel, which coincidentally is celebrating its 75th anniversary,” says Sheckler, who turned 24 in April.

Brooklyn College’s Director of Choirs Malcolm Merriweather and Conservatory Orchestra Director George Rothman asked their students to contribute to the piece.

“The first line of this song, ‘When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high,’ has provided inspiration and solace for our students,” says Merriwether.

Says Rothman, “Refocusing our orchestra students’ creative energies toward bringing Harrison’s vision to life helped ease the disappointment of missing our March live concert.”

“What started to fill the void of music collaboration has evolved to new meaning for me with the lengthened quarantine,” says Sheckeler. “Hopefully, the words, along with the visual of 300 people joining together offers the audience some comfort and peace during this time.”

Adjunct Professor Jeffrey Biegel hosted his fourth “Stay-at-Home” concert on April 4 featuring original compositions and music by George Gershwin, Enrique Granados, and Frédéric Chopin. Biegel also performed “Everlasting” by his friend, composer, pianist, and producer David Foster. This is nothing new for Biegel, as he pioneered the first classical video live-streams from New York and Amsterdam in 1997.

“Being the first to do anything is one thing; watching it grow and be used for the betterment of humanity is a remarkable feeling,” says Biegel. Now, he hopes these performances bring comfort to people during this tough time.

“My fervent prayer for everyone around the world is to be safe from the wrath of the global viral pandemic, and that we all join together to stay as physically distant as possible to protect ourselves and those around us,” Biegel says. “We are not truly socially distant, thanks to technology. I wish everyone Godspeed and good health and pray we all make it to the other side of darkness.”

Read more about Harrison Sheckler’s project here.

Jeffrey Biegel’s live “Stay at Home” concerts are on Saturdays at 5 p.m. You can check for live performances or enjoy his past concerts here.